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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Reduce Condensation on Windows

Q: I’ve had new windows installed, but I’m seeing condensation on the glass inside the house. Do the windows have a problem?

A: Although window surfaces may be the first place you notice condensation forming, it’s really not the fault of the windows. Condensation is caused by excess humidity trapped inside a home; moisture that can cause problems if allowed to remain.

There are several steps you can take to reduce or eliminate excess humidity and condensation inside your home.

• As a temporary solution, open a window in each room for just a few minutes. This is especially helpful after a shower, or after running the washing machine or other moisture-creating appliances.

• Keep attic louvers open. This will allow moisture that travels upward through the house and into the attic to be released to the outside. Some people close or block attic louvers during the winter in hopes of saving fuel. While energy savings are minimal, the moisture that is trapped in the attic can eventually do a great deal of damage to the roof, to attic insulation, and to the ceilings below. Besides louvers, other types of attic ventilation to consider are continuous eaves vents and ridge venting. If you are considering adding attic ventilation, it’s best to consult with a knowledgeable contractor on the best types for your home.

• Check the crawlspace or basement. The crawlspace should have foundation vents so that moisture from the soil can travel to the outside instead of upward into your house. A vapor barrier (such as polyethylene film) over the ground is also helpful. If you have a basement, watch walls and floor for moisture seepage. Again, for advice on eliminating moisture in crawlspaces and basements, it’s best to consult an expert.

• If you have exhaust fans in your kitchen, bathrooms and utility rooms, run them longer than usual in winter. If you don’t have them, consider having them installed.

• Keep draperies and shades open so that air can circulate around the inside glass. Condensation is more apt to occur when drapes are closed and shades are pulled down.

• Eliminate any other controllable sources of moisture in your house. Properly ventilate clothes dryers and all gas appliances. Control excessive use of room humidifiers.

• Use dehumidifiers. Check with your local heating and cooling contractor on the size you need.

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